Our kids take after us – they LOVE beach, pool, lake – water any way they can get it. 😛
The more kids we added, the more hectic these beach days became. With a lot of trial and error, we ended up with exactly what we needed to be able to truly relax and enjoy our family beach day! As with everything else, it’s important to us to spend time as a family in a way that brings joy to all of us, not just the kids, not just the parents.
The beach is one area where I’ve found it doesn’t pay to keep things minimal. These days, I bring everything, so that once we’re settled in, I can actually relax. Quick tip: we set up as close as we can to the water so that we can see the kids at all times without chasing them around. The cautious mama in me also usually likes to be near the lifeguard stand, in case of emergency.
Here’s what our beach packing list looks like:
- Tent | Years of moving umbrellas around finally got to me, and grabbed this tent last year. Best purchase. Leaves plenty of shade, easy up and down, perfect for a napping babe – or a mama getting too much sun. 😉
- Chairs | We bring two – one for each adult. The kids use their towels for the minimal time they spent sitting down. haha
- Beach cart. Truthfully, I picked this one because it was on crazy sale and I needed something asap. But after using it for a couple summers, I think this style is actually a better option, especially if you’re bringing little ones with you. It also seems more versatile overall. Both styles carry a LOT of stuff, and move smoothly over grass/sand, etc.
- Beach bag | Gotta have something to carry it all in, and I’m in LOVE with this one I found at Target. I can squeeze SO much into it and still carry it easily. Plus – the black & white pattern – it kind of screamed my name, you guys. (Looks like it’s not online anymore, but check your local store because it’s at all the stores around me!!) Here are some other fun picks online. Neutral colors | Pinapples are so on trend | Bright and fab price
- Towels | I’m not picky about towels for the kids, whether I buy “nice” or cheap, they get pretty well-worn by the end of summer. This year we went with a mermaid, emojis for days, and a super cool cactus in shades! So many adorable prints this year.
I’ve been loving the round towels for a while, so I finally grabbed this one for myself, and it’s fabulous! It absorbs the water but is also super soft and I’ve used it more as a blanket on windy beach days.
- Cooler | My ultimate dream is this cooler, that literally keeps everything cold for days, but um… #thatpricetagtho, so we just have our standard Igloo cooler. (Would love to hear your cooler recommendations – we’ll be needing a new one this year!!)
- Baby powder | You guys, I don’t know how I had so many kids before I started packing the baby powder, but now I don’t leave the house without it. A tiny bit totally dries up all the sand and lets it easily wipe off the little fingers and toes before eating or getting back into the car.
- Wipes | Kleenex
- Sunscreen | Such a hot topic these days, isn’t it? What’s good this year will probably be on the most-banned list next year. Sigh. Anyway, we’ve been using this one for a few years now, without a single burn. I use it on myself also, with my super sensitive Irish skin that wants to burn after 10 minutes in the sun. Ha!
- Hats | I put the sunscreen on, but I’m all about not relying on it for everything. Hats are a must. This year the kids are wearing second or third-hand ones, 😛 but I’ve seen lots of options at both Target and Old Navy this month. (I’m loving this one and this one for me!)
- Baby pool. | I don’t always use this, but on a super hot day, it’s nice to have as an option for the younger two to cool off right there at the tent.
- Swimsuits | Mikey trunks/rashguard | Eloise | Lucas trunks/rashguard | Cassandra one-piece/similar
Quick tip: Eloise and Lucas are my daredevils – so I deliberately choose swimsuits for them in bright colors that I can easily spot in a crowd.
I hope this was helpful to you guys. I know when I was first making the switch from child-free to child-full at the beach, it got pretty stressful sometimes. It’s actually more relaxing now with all 4 than it used to be with only 1 or 2, just because we figured out what items made the difference!!
I have NOT yet found a way to keep the kids from bringing half the sand on the beach home with them. Tips welcome! haha
What’s on your essentials list?